When it comes to World Series of Poker greatness, Phil Hellmuth is an absolute legend. Since winning his first gold bracelet in 1989 by capturing the WSOP Main Event title, Hellmuth has added 12 more pieces of WSOP hardware to his trophy case, and now just five players stand between him and number 14.
This run for Hellmuth marks his 108th WSOP cash and 51st WSOP final table. Combine that with the most gold bracelets of any player, and it's hard to argue that anyone else comes close. Hellmuth also has the chance to become the third player to win gold bracelets in the three regions the WSOP has been held — US, Europe, and Australia — behind Daniel Negreanu and Jeff Lisandro. Then you've got the fitting story that this year is the 25th anniversary of Hellmuth's 1989 WSOP Main Event win and the year he turned 50 years old.
When Hellmuth sat down with PokerNews' Rich Ryan before the summer, he stated that he was going to win 11 more bracelets in his career. He did say that he felt he'd win more mixed-game bracelets than no-limit hold'em ones in those 11, but nonetheless this is a step in that direction.
Thanks to busting out Kris Nestorovic in seventh place, Hellmuth will take 266,500 in chips into Day 3. While that's technically fifth on the leader board out of the final six players, the top five stacks are separated by less than 50,000 in chips, as the top stack has 315,000.
After play completed for the day, Hellmuth spoke with PokerNews Senior Editor Chad Holloway:
Steven Zhou is the player leading the way, and then you've got Alexander Antonios (278,000), Michael Tran (274,000), and Yu Kurita (269,500) bunched in between Zhou and Hellmuth. Kurita has become the first female player to reach a WSOP Asia-Pacific final table, and she's got just as good a chance as any to grab the gold.
Bringing up the year with 65,000 in chips will be 2014 WSOP November Niner Bruno Politano. When the WSOP Main Event final table resumes in November, Politano will be the shortest stack of the final nine. He'll be able to earn some valuable experience in that position through this event, as he also enters the final table as the lowest on chips. It's a great story that Politano has reached this final table, and he's proving it was no fluke when he made the November Nine.
Day 3 and the final table will begin at 12:10 p.m. local time, and this is clearly a final table you will not want to miss. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage from the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific and get ready to watch Hellmuth chase number 14 tomorrow.